How Much Is It to Ship a Car? This Is How to Calculate Cost

June 24, 2020 car carrier truck deliver batch to dealer "trucks" series

According to a survey by E.ON, moving is the most stressful life event, even beating out divorce. That stress is only accentuated when you have to ship something big like a car. Not only do you have to figure out how you’re going to ship it, but you have to ask yourself, “How much is it to ship a car?”

If you need to know the cost of having a car shipped, look no further. Here’s your complete guide to the price of shipping a car.

How Much Is It to Ship a Car?

When it comes to shipping cars, prices are variable.

The cost depends on a lot of different factors, from the model and weight of the car to the distance and company you go with. On average though, you should expect about $500 – $700 for shorter distance transport, and as high as $1,500 for long hauls. Don’t be surprised if it ends up being a little higher than that for a heavier truck, though.

Car shipping prices also depend on supply and demand. There are around 10,000 cars waiting to be shipped out of California right now. Because of this, fewer truckers are available to ship cars.

Unfortunately, that puts your vehicle on a long list of others and means an increase in cost not only in California but in the surrounding States, too. Considering this, you can expect prices on the higher end of the spectrum right now.

Other factors that affect shipping price include whether or not the car is in running condition, if you want an enclosed trailer for shipping, and if your car is souped up and modded.

How to Calculate Shipping Costs

With such a broad range of possible prices, you may feel even more stressed about the whole process now. Fear not. There are a few ways you can calculate the price of shipping your car before picking a shipment company.

Here are a few of the most popular ways to get that done.

Check CentralDispatch

For one of the most accurate measures of car shipping prices you should check centraldispatch.com.

CentralDispatch is the home of the national dispatch load board. Using their website, you can input all the details of your car and how far you need to move it. The website takes your requested quote and gives it to a broker agent, who calculates how much it should cost.

The broker compares your shipment to similar cases in the past. They also consider how many truckers are available, the current market rates, and when your car can be shipped. The broker will get back to you with as accurate a shipping price as possible.

Calculate Using Cost per Mile

Oftentimes, car transport companies will charge you on a per-mile basis.

When you’re looking for a car shipping company, ask them their price per mile. Then, multiply that cost per mile by the amount of miles you’re moving. You should end up with a rough estimate of what you’ll need to pay.

Of course, there may be other fees that the company factors in, so this isn’t a solid number. There are other methods you can use for more accurate cost estimations.

Use Nexus Auto Transport Cost Calculator

You can also calculate the cost of having your car shipped directly from the Nexus Auto Transport website.

Right on the home page you’ll see the words “Choose Your Route”. Underneath are two spaces: one for your pickup location, and one for your dropoff location. Type these in and hit ‘Next Step’ to continue with the calculator.

Next, put in your vehicles make and model, and select the correct additional options if applicable. These include whether your car is in running shape or not and if you want an enclosed trailer. If these do not apply, don’t select them.

All you need to do now is input your email for confirmation, and you’ll see your estimates!

We give you three estimates at Nexus: economy price, standard price, and expedited price. We also offer you an estimated time of delivery. From this page, you can save your quote and have it emailed to you, and schedule your shipment.

The Nexus Auto Transport calculator is the fastest and easiest way to get shipping costs for your car.

How to Save Money on Car Shipping

It’s going to be expensive to ship your car. However, there are a few ways you can save a couple of bucks in the process.

It’s less expensive to ship a running car than it is to ship a non-running one. This is because you need a specially equipped truck to transport non-running vehicles. It takes more effort to get a non-running car onto a truck or trailer, which leads to increased costs.

By getting your car in running condition you can save at least $100. The other main consideration is between an enclosed and open trailer.

An open trailer is cheaper, but it leaves your car open to the elements. While the driver will do all they can to keep your car safe, nothing is certain. Loose stones, weather, and more may cause damage to the exterior of the vehicle.

Enclosed trailers are more expensive, but keep your vehicle safe. They ensure your car is safer from weather, errant stones, and possible accidents. You can expect this to add about $200 minimum to your cost, though.

You also have priority and shipping options to consider. Nexus Auto Transport, for example, offers three options: economy, standard, and expedited. Economy is the cheapest option, but also comes with the longest estimated shipping time.

If you can wait a little longer for your vehicle to arrive to your new home, you can save a considerable amount of money by selecting economy shipping. Always ask your auto transport company if they offer different shipping options.

Nexus Auto Transport also picks your car up for you, saving you from having to drive it to a pickup point. That saves you on gas, ultimately leading to a cheaper overall price. It’s the little things that count.

Take Advantage of Discounts

Many auto shipping companies, including Nexus Auto Transport, offer specific discounts that can save you money.

If you are in the military, or if you’re retired from the military, take advantage of the military discount. Each auto transport company will detail how you can take advantage of this discount. At Nexus Auto Transport, talk to one of our car transport specialists and let them know — they’ll lower the cost of your overall shipment.

Paying in cash also offers you a decent discount. Truckers prefer payment in cash, so they offer a decent reduction in price for it. It’s important to note, you usually cannot pay a trucker directly with a credit card so you’ll need either cash, a check, or a money order to go forward with your shipment.

You can also get a discount if you’re shipping multiple vehicles. This is because the vehicles will all go on the same truck. If you have multiple vehicles to ship, let us know so we can arrange it in the most cost-effective way for you.

Ship at the Right Time

Finally, you will find it’s cheaper to ship your vehicle during certain seasons.

The summer is typically the most expensive time to ship your car. Many people move in the summer, meaning there are more car deliveries happening. This boosts your cost and elongates your estimated delivery date.

If you can get away with it, you can save a decent bit of coin shipping your car in the fall months. Between September and November you can often find the best prices as there are fewer people shipping vehicles.

Using these few tips, you can save as much money as possible shipping your car. Always ask your auto transport company what sort of discounts and savings they can afford you. You never know how much you could knock off your total!

Find the Cheapest Car Shipping Around

So, how much is it to ship a car? Well, there are a lot of factors that go into that question. There isn’t one concrete answer, so expect to see any price around $1,500 – $1,600 for long-distance moves, and $500 – $1,000 for shorter distances.

The best decision is to use a shipping cost calculator like the one at Nexus Auto Transport, or CentralDispatch. That way, you get an accurate cost estimate before shipping your car out.

Click here if you want to learn more about how Nexus Auto Transport ships your vehicle. Learn why we’re the best choice for all your vehicle shipping needs.